CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Governor Jim Justice has appointed Betsy Jividen as Commissioner of the state Division of Corrections.


Betsy Jividen, commissioner of the state Division of Corrections

State Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy made the announcement Monday.

Jividen replaces acting Commissioner Mike Coleman, who is also deputy director of Correctional Operations for DMAPS.

Jividen has worked as a federal prosecutor for more than 40 years. She was the first woman to be sworn in as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of West Virginia back in 1980. She served as Civil Chief, Senior Litigation Counsel and two terms as acting and interim U.S. Attorney.

“Jividen has been a tough federal prosecutor and Governor Justice chose her for her leadership skills at the national level, where she developed programs to give inmates the necessary skills to be successful upon their release,” Sandy said in a news release. “Like many of Governor Justice’s selections, Jividen could have obtained a far more lucrative new career. Her love of West Virginia, however, directed her to continue to be a public servant and make a difference in corrections.”

Jividen served as acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia during most of last year until U.S. Attorney Bill Powell was sworn in on Oct. 13.

Her experience with corrections issues is extensive. Jividen has represented the FBI, its staff and the officers for more than 25 years in lawsuits filed by inmates. She also supervised the prosecution of crimes that happened inside federal correctional facilities for more than 10 years.

“I want to thank Governor Justice for the honor of this appointment,” Jividen said in a statement. “I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to continue serving with the brave and dedicated men and women of the corrections community and to be part of the important work they are doing.”

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